Baked Pasta and Cheese

The best macaroni and cheese I had was when I was in New York some years back. It was only a side dish to the meat platter we ordered. In fact, it was in that restaurant that I had the best mac & cheese, and apple cinnamon. I had been missing the mac & cheese for a long time. It's rare to find a good mac & cheese. I decided to embark on trying out this recipe. The recipe looks simple, but I can assure you, it's not that easy to make a moist, cheesy and soft mac & cheese.
As I do not have elbow pasta, I used other pasta instead. Although my baked pasta and cheese turned out nice, but it was not moist enough. I would like it to be more moist. In future, I'll add more milk. Don't be deceived by my pictures, it didn't do much justice to the taste. It was pretty good. Fortunately my family members like it.
Recipe for Pasta & Cheese, modified from Alton Brown's Mac & Cheese.
(Makes a full 13 x 11 x 3" tray)

500g Any Pasta (or elbow pasta)
3 tbsp Liv Unsalted butter
3 tbsp Plain flour
750g Whole milk
1 large Egg
500g Shredded Cheddar (I used a mix of red cheddar and white cheddar from Cold Storage. A packet of 150g cost $2.99)
1 tsp Salt
Fresh black pepper

Optional Addition:
3 tbsp Olive oil
2 punnets fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1 Red capsicum, chopped
1 Red onion, finely chopped

3 tbsp Liv Unsalted butter
8 slices White bread, trimmed the sides
150g Mozzarella cheese, shredded

  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, cook the vegetables. Add in the olive oil, followed by onion. Cook the onion till soft and fragrant, then add in the red capsicum, followed by mushrooms. Cooked till soft. Remove from the pot, set aside.
  3. Drain out the liquid from the pot, add in the three tablespoon of butter. Whisk in the flour and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk and simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Pour the hot milk into the egg in a separate bowl. Temper the egg and pour it back into the pot and stir well.
  5. Stir in all the cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the pasta into the mix and pour into the prepared tray. Topped with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread to coat. Place the buttered bread on top.
  7. Bake in a preheated fan oven of 160C for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
I served my pasta & cheese with grilled vegetables, meatballs, salmon gravlax and gougere cookies. Grilled vegetables include 2 large yellow zucchini, 3 japanese cucumbers, a quarter pumpkin and 3 medium brinjal. Slice them, toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh dill. These were what I served to a group of 16 people. Meatballs and salmon gravlax are store-bought. Just some ideas for you if you are having guests over.
pasta_cheese4 pasta_cheese3


Alice said...
July 25, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Looks so creamy and delicious!

Razor said...
July 29, 2013 at 5:10 AM

those were really great
i like them a lot
thanks for the post

Edith C said...
August 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM

wow love your feast.

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